posted by Alan Joenn on January 11, 2013
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Why CRM Systems Fail

With the time and expense involved in implementing customer relationship management software it’s important that the process is handled correctly. CRM systems can fail if not handled correctly. In this week’s CRM Whiteboard session we take a look at one of the most common challenges in CRM that may cause failure.


Hello and welcome to this CRM whiteboard session. Today we’re going to look at one of the reasons why CRM initiatives might fail – one of the reasons why you’re customer relationship management system might not deliver properly.

On the Collier Pickard website and in lots of our blogs you’ll find lots of information about this term, CRM Maturity. CRM Maturity is something that we use to define the level of collaboration that’s happening between the various user communities and stake holders within your CRM world and how effectively that’s happening.

The base, the foundation level for CRM Maturity level one is the point at which people must be recording accurate, relevant and timely information into the CRM database. Only then can you progress to level two, the integration layer where cross functions and different stake holder communities within your CRM world can collaborate knowing that the data in the system is accurate reliable and timely and therefore they can make good decisions based on it and not have to go and ratify the data prior to taking any action.

Now, within this transition that happens, this development of CRM maturity, you need good levels of expectation management within the user communities. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that acquiring level one CRM maturity is hard work. It’s about people changing the way they do things, getting accurate data into the system and maybe not necessarily getting too many benefits back. The benefits accrue ion CRM maturity terms at level two and subsequently when you move into the process layer and the business transformation layers of level three and level four of CRM maturity.

So if you haven’t set people’s expectations that this is the progression in the first place, they are likely to become disillusioned with the work that they are doing with data capture in to the CRM database and you run the risk of having the dreaded return to excel and having people store information for their own analysis and their own list management in a non-collaborative way.

So one of the lessons that we’d like you to take out of this short session today, is that CRM can fail if you don’t have a good approach to expectation management and let people know that there will be a time delay as the organisation becomes more mature in its use of CRM until the benefits really start to accrue.

We have lots of experience of working with CRM deployments. If you’d like more information you can find stuff on our website, in our eBook library, all of which is at We hope you’ve found this session worthwhile, thank you for watching.

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